Over the next three days I am going to review the three new perfumes, Olfactive Studio is launching this week in Paris. I will start with my favorite, Autoportrait.
It is probably saying something about my narcissistic tendencies that I am drawn to a perfume called Autoportrait, the least of which is that my diagnosis is right. But aside from the personality – appropriate name, Autoportrait triggers many of my “want!” buttons. Let’s see what lies beneath that name…
“A self-portrait may be the answer to this equation in one unknown: the self.
Eternally superficial, beauty gives us access to the profound, hidden meaning of nature. Seeing one’s reflection is to experience inner harmony; one that ignites an aesthetic emotion that, through the gaze, is able to dissolve all inner conflicts.
It is not forbidden to be fascinated, swept away, spellbound by one’s own image. Aesthetic judgment is reflective judgment. What fascinates us really? Beauty itself or that which it conceals?
Gaze into your image to have a clear mind and heart. Like an intimate and visual diary, the self-portrait reveals the truth or fiction of your own face at any given time.
The self-portrait is, beyond all doubt, conductive to contemplation.
Delve into the depths of the self by perusing the surface.
The beautiful narcissus is the eternal witness. Seeing his face upon the waters, he fell in love.”
-from the press map
Autoportrait is a soft and quiet scent, it stays close, but has enough sillage to be felt during the day. A completely flower-free perfume, Autoportrait lives through the smoky and murky depths of benzoin and incense. Autoportrait is all about the base.
After a quick breeze of bergamot, the resins settle in and get comfortable on my skin, warming up slowly, gaining depth and sweetness over time. Smoky tendrils curl over a wooden base that is comfortably plush and rich, with oakmoss and vetiver lending a green tinge.
I am reminded of Xerjoff Casamorati Bouquet Idèale, only Autoportrait is rounder, fuller without being heavier, it seems more complete whereas Bouquet Idèale always leaves me with the feeling of being a bit hollow, empty.
Autoportait is a very calming, contemplative and meditative perfume. It exudes peace and encourages to turn your gaze inwards.
I am moved by the photograph inspiring Autoportrait. The scale of man and sky (which is made even vaster through the ingenious reflection of water) puts things in perspective.
Instead of focusing on my reflection, instead of putting up myself as the focal point of scrutiny, the horizon is opened up and puts me in a context that is closer to reality than my body, my face, my eyes. I still see myself, but I see so much more as well. I can still focus on myself, but I don’t have to.
A relief, as every card-carrying narcissist will surely be glad to confirm.